To meditate effectively is to enjoy inner peace and alleviate the unrest caused by our daily routines. Through daily practice we can increase our concentration levels enabling us to meditate deeper and longer. Initially practising just a few minutes per day we can use meditation to alleviate issues with our thoughts and feelings, health and body.

We can use different forms of meditation to increase our energy levels, raise our awareness and promote general well-being. These different forms of meditation can be applied in our everyday lives and which is used is dependent on your own circumstance, these include meditations to:-

• Relieve stress and create calm
• Eradicate bad habits
• To create insight and realisation
• Develop emotionally
• Create energy and develop focus

To begin the practice of meditation it is important to find a quiet, comfortable location where you will not be disturbed. You should never meditate after a big meal as this will make you feel sluggish and tired. You should feel comfortable when meditating whether you are sat on a zafu, on a meditation bench or simply an upright chair. When you find a comfortable position we then need to relax by performing simple breathing exercises.

The next stage is to practice and develop our concentration skills by focusing on a single object. If you find your concentration wavering, refocus on the single object; the more you practice the more adapt you will become at attaining high levels of concentration. You may find at the early stages of practice that your concentration will only last a few seconds but this will increase with time. It is important to silent the mind and it is only when you begin meditation you realise how busy your mind is; if any other thoughts do enter your mind, disregard them straight way and return your mind to a state of silence.